The problem is, none of these emotions are helpful and all of them will get in the way of your success. Learning to control and change your emotions is ESSENTIAL for successful dog training and will greatly speed up the process.
If you’re struggling to get ahold of your emotions, try these tips:
2. Name your emotion – When I’m with a dog, my goal is to be cool and calm. If I ever feel this changing, I take a brief moment to name the emotion I am feeling and then push it aside. If you’re honest about the anger you’re feeling, or the embarrassment you are experiencing, it is much easier to move past it and address your dogs feelings instead.
3. Think positively (but specifically) – By now you are probably pretty familiar with the problematic behaviors that are damaging the relationship between you and your dog. It’s a record that plays over and over in your head. Try specifically imagining what success looks like and play that record in your head over and over again. Visualization is something I thought of as hokey, but the more successful people you talk to, you will find it is a common thread that helps people achieve greatness. Phenomenal basketball players, when they can’t be on the court, aren’t daydreaming about the free throws they are missing or the game-winning shots they are blowing, they’re thinking about how great it is when they hit the game winning shot and are carried off the court in celebration.
4. Find success and repeat it – When you have something that you and your dog are doing really well together, do it a lot. For example, if I come into a multi-dog household where the dogs are fighting with each other, the first thing I will do is teach them how to walk with each other, and then have the owners do that as much as possible – this way the dogs have more good experiences and learn to have some faith in their handlers. It’s also good to change the record that is on repeat in their heas.